Teaching Children to Overcome Temptation from Joan Eppehimer on Vimeo.
Even though I have taught this lesson on Jesus being tested by Satan before, I found it very difficult to present. I like to think of this as the game Battleship. When you make a hit on the enemy's ship in this game, they yell, "Hit!" When I am doing something for God and I encounter a lot of obstacles, it is the equivalent of that cry, "Hit!" In other words, I am making inroads into the enemy's territory, I have made a "hit." And that's a good thing.
So just a word of warning, this lesson requires prayer to be effective.
INTRO: A good hook - a great way to pull in the kids attention for this story is to have some bait, real bait. Temptation is all about bait. It means to attract someone to do wrong by desire - and the bait is what works on your desire. The bait hides the hook.
SEGUE: We discussed whether it was wrong for a fish to want to eat the worm on a hook, or the lure. Of course not. And our desires are not wrong either, but they can lead us to do wrong.
LESSON: Enter Satan to attract Jesus to do wrong through his desires. We examined each temptation and identified the desire Satan tried to used to lure Jesus.
VISUALS: I use Free Bible Images to make most of my visuals. I created a set of 11 x 17 flash cards for this story. You can access the cards here. For directions on how to print and store these cards see my blog post DIY Fold-able Flashcards.
APPLICATION: We identified how Jesus countered each instance. Two principles emerged:
- Use scripture, it is an offensive weapon
- Rebuke the enemy (Jesus told him to get away)
- Out loud
- In Jesus' name
OBJECT LESSON: I used an object lesson to show us the power of temptation and the power of Jesus to release us from temptation. You can find full instructions for the object lesson here.
APPLICATION ACTIVITY: We closed with an activity designed to help the children learn how to use the word of God to counter temptation - sword fighting. You can watch it in the video. The instructions and printables for this game are in this previous post. This time I covered hula hoops with butcher paper to make the targets.